Previous 1 2 Next 29 Replies Latest reply: Sep 15, 2007 2:14 PM by Tasmin
lmdoc50 Level 1 (10 points)
I am missing a Mailbox in Mail. It has not been used for at least a year. When I tried to access it today, I got the message "Email needs to be downloaded. Take this account online." for each message in the mailbox. These emails were years old and had already been downloaded and deleted from the server. The accounts for the emails shown were already online and had downloaded other already today.

When I tried to rebuild the mailbox all the messages disappeared and the mailbox is completely empty. There are other mailboxes in this folder and they perform as usual. I've no problems with any other mailbox.

How can restore these emails? Thanks for your help

Power Mac G4 Dual 1 GHz Processors; 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Stanley Horwitz Level 4 (2,705 points)
    Do you have a backup of your hard drive. When you rebuilt the mailbox, it probably made your local copy match the copy on your mail server and since you had already downloaded and deleted those messages from the server, it did the same on your local copy. You will need to either recover from your own backup or try to get your mail server administrator to recover the messages for you, but that's a long-shot.
  • alyssawright Level 1 (0 points)
    The same thing just happened to me too -- AND I'm unable to delete the mailbox that has become corrupted, OR backup the mailfile, since Finder can't find the "children" of that mailbox.

    It started when I tried to do my weekly backup of Mail, and got the error "children" message. When I went into the mailbox, I got the "take the account online" message. Looked it up in "help" and tried to rebuild the mailbox -- which promptly deleted all the messages in the mailbox.

    The e-mails weren't super-important, so for the sake of backing up, I tried to delete those errant mailboxes, but could not. Aiyaiyai.

    If anyone has any brilliant ideas, I'd love to hear them!

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)
    This message is the result of an indexing issue, and probably not from the absence of the message data. Open this mailbox (even though it will not display) and click on Mailbox in the menubar, and choose Rebuild. Wait patiently for Rebuild to finish, and be aware that if you are seeing the list of messages, that list may temporarily disappear, be returning. If only this one mailbox is the problem, then Rebuild will resolve the problem with the index.


    Message was edited by: Ernie Stamper
  • lmdoc50 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thank you, Ernie. You were right and all the emails reappeared and I could then move the mailbox too.
  • alyssawright Level 1 (0 points)
    **** -- glad it helped someone, but didn't help me.

    When I rebuilt the mailbox before, that's when the messages disappeared completely (i.e., they had told me they were still on the server before, but even the subject headers disappeared after I re-built).

    Re-building again still leaves that particular mailbox at zero messages. And the mailbox still won't delete or re-name.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    When the messages disappeared, as they would for a time during Rebuild, did you wait for Rebuild to finish and return the new list of messages -- patiently? Or did you stop the process?

    Was this an On My Mac mailbox you had created as a New Mailbox once upon a time? If so, in the Finder open Home/Library/Mail/Mailboxes and look for its folder, and report what you find.

  • alyssawright Level 1 (0 points)
    No I didn't stop the process -- there weren't many messages in the affected mailboxes, anyhow. Originally, I could see the subject headers. While it re-built, and my messages disappeared completely and the count got set to zero.

    This affects three mailboxes I created -- for two of those, if I look at the mailbox folder in my Library, the .mbox folders are completely empty. For the third, it does still have the info.plist file, and a folder of messages.

    Thanks, Ernie
  • twoknives Level 1 (0 points)
    i know this topic has been moved from but speaking of moving - POOF! - i opened my mac mail to discover my inbox completely empty. my outbox has it's contents intact...... i've been reading some of the discussions and decided i must have to "rebuild" my mail. unfortunately, from my mailboxes tab, "rebuild" is listed but not bolded as an option. in other words - HELP.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)
    How many accounts do you have? If more than one, then you would have to open the Inbox of each account before the option to Rebuild would be available.

    What version of OSX are you running? How much hard drive space to you have free?

  • Gary Robinson2 Level 1 (25 points)
    I lost my Inbox completely after a rebuild too. Fortunately I have a backup, but when I try to re-import it Mail doesn't recognise the file format (files have an .emlx extension) - even though it created them! This all happened after Mail started taking ages to check the mail server (using IMAP) for new mail. Any bright ideas on what is going on and how to recover the situation?
  • Tasmin Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi, I am also experiencing similar problems. I've just lost more or less an entire partition including my emails. I luckily have a very recent back up... but almost all of the 727 emails in my main inbox have the "has not been downloaded" message. After rebuilding -- and yes, I wait till it's done -- there are only 63 emails left which are unfortunately the less important ones.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • Tasmin Level 1 (0 points)
    I fixed my problem, sorry about that. Somehow I'd not copied all the .emlx files from within the INBOX.mbox/Messages/ folder from the backup to the new Mail folder. My own fault after all...
  • Karl Eggestad Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi all.
    I had the same experience, all mails in the mailbox were listed as "offline", and the rebuild caused the entire mailbox to appear empty. Another rebuild did not solve the issue. I went to the "console", and the last line there says "Mail[3127] couldn't load body for <RecoveredMessage: 0x467540>, aborting".
    Apparently, one mail message has a read error (Disk problem? separate post for that). Went to that particular mailbox's directory "~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Customers/xxxxxx.mbox/Messages" in
    my case, and identified the file that was not readable. Moved that file (don't delete it - move it - so any bad disk issues with that mail message stays with that file), and then rebuild the mailbox. All mails (sans the one that was moved - of course) reappeared just fine and problem was solved. Hope this helps others too.
  • LLQ Level 1 (25 points)
    Hi to all,

    I've had similar Mail problems and have been reading a lot of posts. I think everyone should read carefully the info on Mac Help and elsewhere about rebuilding mailboxes before you do it. My particular Mail setup (before I lost it) was to delete my messages from my server after I downloaded them into Mail, so a rebuild would only give me an empty mailbox. After I spent a lot of time importing all the messages I could find, I certainly didn't want to start over. I also looked around and discovered that my messages were in user/Pictures/Library/Mail/Mailboxes instead of user/Library/Mail/Mailboxes (don't know why, don't remember setting it up there), so take some time to look around carefully to find all the old messages.

    After "successfully" importing into a newly setup Mail mailbox, I discovered I could not read or move messages -- I got the "offline" error message. So I shut down Mail and made a copy by holding down the Alt key and dragging the user/Library/Mail folder (where my newly created mailbox was) to my desktop. Then I restarted Mail and imported from this desktop backup file -- this gave me a "good" mailbox that I could then further set up with sub-mailboxes, etc. Maybe a tip for others ....

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